Private Milne’s name appears on the Haltonville Cenotaph.
Private Milne’s body was not recovered. His name, like many other at that time, is engraved on the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
Milton Soldiers on the Vimy Memorial (Google Earth).
James Milne was an American by birth (Saginaw, Michigan) but at the time of his attestation on September 9, 1915 his parents Alexander and Christina were residing in the border area of Milton and Guelph (Moffat), in the County of Halton.
He listed prior military experience with the 30th Regiment “Wellington Rifles” from Guelph. From his service number and records we know that he attested to the 71st Infantry Battalion “D” Coy, which did not serve as an active field unit. The 71st was absorbed by the 54th Battalion. James went to the 51st Battalion on May 28, 1915. He was confirmed as a Lance Corporal on November 8, 1915 but reverted in rank to Private, at his own request, on June 14, 1916.
James Milne transferred to the 73rd Infantry Battalion (12th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division) on May 27, 1916 as a Lance Corporal. He personally requested his rank be reverted from Lance Corporal to Private. His pay records confirm that request was granted.
From July to November 1916 the CEF was heavily involved in the Battles of the Somme, and in particular the Battle of Ancre Heights to take Regina and Desire Trenches. The War Diary of November 11, 1916 shows the 73rd in the front of Regina Trench. A strong counter attack was expected and there was heavy shelling of the support trenches. Heavy casualties were reported for that period. It is unknown where exactly or how Private James Milne perished. As with so many, he is remembered on the ramparts of the Vimy Memorial.
The 73rd Battalion was replaced in the 4th Division by the 85th Battalion in February 1917.
There are no additional digital images for Private Milne on the Virtual War Memorial at this time.